Giants blow big lead, recover in extras to best the D’Backs, increase NL West lead

By Morris Phillips

Trade deadline activity that strengthens a competing club is energizing for the fans and organization. But it can be agonizing for players who may be on the departing end of a big trade.

Once the trade deadline passes, nervousness ceases and everybody gets back to work.

On Monday night in Phoenix, Alex Dickerson got back to work.

The Giants’ burly left fielder hit a grand slam to give the Giants a big lead, only to see it evaporate, and force the club to regain control in extra innings in an 11-8 victory over the Diamondbacks. With the acquisition of Kris Bryant, Dickerson had to be wondering about his current status with the club with Bryant offering a better option for the team’s outfield spots. But Monday found Bryant and Dickerson in the lineup together, a clear sign that manager Gabe Kapler hadn’t forgotten what a menace Dickerson has been when facing Arizona.

“He’s had quite a bit of success against the D-backs,” Kapler said. “He’s had quite a bit of success in this ballpark. I think he feels especially confident.”

“It hasn’t been the greatest year for me to this point, but they know and I know that I’m better than how I’ve played,” Dickerson said. “I just needed that kind of day where it all comes together. It was a good feeling to have everybody pulling for me.”

Kapler made it clear that while more is expected of Dickerson, hitting just .217, not much more is expected. Being an occasional home threat and delivering in that manner may be enough.

“I just think he needs to be the better version of Alex Dickerson. That’s a guy who’s a really tough out at the plate against righties and occasionally has games with big damage like he had today. I don’t want Alex to put any additional pressure on himself to be perfect every time out. Just be productive and keep the line moving.”

Dickerson’s slam off reliever J.B. Bukauskas in the fifth was typical, Giants home run express delivery: a poorly placed pitch in the hitting zone that wasn’t missed. That Dickerson sent the pitch 437 feet for his career-best 11th home run of the season said it all. The slam ended an 0 for 17 stretch for the slugger.

Despite building a 7-1 lead, the Giants found themselves in a nail bitter with a D’Backs club that came in 40 games below .500 and was embarassed by the Dodgers on Sunday, losing 13-0. Josh Reddick got the Arizona comeback started with a two-run shot off Anthony DeSclafani in the fifth. Asdrubral Cabrera followed with another two-run shot, and Christian Walker’s two-run double got the D’Backs even in the seventh.

Reliever Jay Jackson was victimized by Walker, a surprise after Jackson gave the eight, neat appearances in July, and had put himself in line for a bigger role out of the Giants’ pen. Jackson’s command issues on Monday were apparent prior to facing Walker, but Kapler was reluctant to turn to any of his top three relievers after a weekend of extended activity against the Astros.

With the game tied, Kapler did find some success with newly reacquired Tony Watson and hot arm Jarlin Garcia, who pitched the ninth and tenth innings. That gave the Giants a chance to catch a collective breather, and rally in the tenth. Buster Posey started it with a double that chased home Brandon Crawford, the placed runner to start an extra inning. Dickerson’s line out advanced Posey to third, and Austin Slater walked. Steven Duggar followed with an RBI single, and Donovan Solano capped the rally with a ground out that allowed Slater to score.

The Giants gained a half game on the Dodgers and Padres, increasing their lead in the NL West to 3 1/2 games. The Giants have won six of eight and moved a season-best 28 games above .500 at 67-39. The season series against Arizona continues to be lopsided with the Giants capturing 10 of 11 meetings thus far.

On Tuesday, the veteran matchup sure to gain attention takes place with Johnny Cueto facing Madison Bumgarner, the former Giant and 2014 World Series hero at 6:40pm.

Preview San Diego Padres-Oakland A’s: A’s at home after ten game road trip

Oakland A’s starter Sean Manaea seen pitching in his last start will start against the San Diego Padres Tue Aug 3, 2021 at Oakland Coliseum (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s (60-47) have an off-day on Monday. The A’s were 4-2 on the last road trip against the San Diego Padres (61-47) and Los Angeles Angels (52-53). The A’s split the series last Tuesday and Wednesday against the Padres in San Diego.

The A’s moved up to Anaheim to play four against the Angels. The A’s won three of the four games. They would have had a sweep if they had given Cole Irvin some run support last Saturday. Irvin pitched a gem but was the losing pitching as the A’s fell to the Angels 1-0.

After the two-game set concluded last Wednesday, both teams were active before the July 30th trade deadline. The Padres were hoping to make a big splash by landing Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals. Most of the pundits had the big righty heading to San Diego.

San Diego’s hopes were dashed when the Los Angeles Dodgers snagged Scherzer and Trea Turner. Turner going to LA was unexpected. The Dodgers made quite a few headlines with the deal. The Padres did make a deal as they traded for Nats’ reliever Daniel Hudson.

The A’s acquired four players as they hope to catch the Houston Astros in the race for the AL West crown. The A’s bolstered their bullpen as they made a deal to acquire lefty Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs. Before the trade, Jake Diekman was the only lefty in the A’s bullpen.

The move helped A’s manager have more flexibility using his relievers. The next big move was the trade to get outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins. The A’s gave up Jesus Luzardo in the trade. It was sad to see Luzardo go, but the team needed improvement in the outfield.

The A’s finished the wheeling and dealing by making a trade with the Washington National. They sent prospects to the Nats in exchange for catcher Yan Gomes and the versatile Josh Harrison. All three players have contributed since coming to the A’s. Gomes homered in yesterday’s game to help the A’s beat the Angels 8-3.

So, let’s look at what happened last week in the two-game series in San Diego. San Diego beat the A’s and starter James Kaprielian 7-4 last Tuesday night. Kaprielian went four innings and took the loss. The winning pitcher was Chris Paddack. Both pitchers are now on the 10-day IL. Kaprielian has a shoulder impingement.

The A’s brought up Dulton Jefferies to take his spot in the rotation. Jefferies made his second Major League start on Sunday against the Angels and was the winning pitcher. In the 7-4 loss to the Padres Last Tuesday, the Padres’ young superstar, Fernando Tatis, Jr., homered, doubled. Veteran third baseman Manny Machado also hit a big fly in the game.

The Padres pounded A’s pitchers for 12 hits Tuesday night. The A’s turned the tables on the Padres on Wednesday. The A’s had no trouble with Pads’ starter, Blake Snell. They sent Snell to the showers at the end of the fourth inning. Snell gave up seven hits and seven runs as he absorbed his fourth loss of the year. The A’s won the game 10-4. A’s starter Sean Manaea went six innings and allowed one hit.

The A’s played four against the Angels last week. They won three of the four. The Padres split their four games series with the Colorado Rockies.

Both teams are in the second Wild Card spot in their respective leagues. If the Wild Card Games were to be played today, The Padres would travel to Dodger Stadium and face the Dodgers. The A’s would fly to Boston for the one-game playoff against the Red Sox.

The probable pitchers for the series will feature the Padres’ lefty Blake Snell going against Sean Manaea. Frankie Montas will go for Oakland Wednesday, and Joe Musgrove pitches for San Diego.

Fernando Tatis, Jr. will not be in the PAdre lineup as he suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder. The Padres placed him on the 10-day IL.

The Padres still have a lot of firepower on their roster. Keep your eyes on third baseman Manny Machado, Second Baseman Jake Cronenworth, Adam Frazier, and Eric Hosmer. Tommy Pham, Wil Meyers, and Trent Grisham all can win ball games for San Diego.

Marte, Harrison, and Gomes have bolstered the A’s offense. The A’s are now four and 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. The Astros made two moves to bolster their bullpen. They traded for former A’s starter Kendall Graveman from the Seattle Mariners. The M’s converted Graveman to a closer, and he has resurrected his career. The Astros also acquired Yimi Garcia from Miami to strengthen the ‘pen.

The A’s are 60-47 for the season. They made the moves to better the team. The A’s have made the playoffs the last three seasons. They know how to win. They can do it by playing better against the Mariners, Rangers, and Astros. The A’s meet the Rangers six times in the next two weeks. The last-place Rangers have given the A’ fits this year. The Rangers traded their best player, Joey Gallo, to the Yankees. Hopefully, the A”s will turn the tables on the Rangers.

The A’s now they can beat the Padres. A’s fans will be hoping for a sweep. The Padres have other thoughts.

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: If you like shutouts A’s-Angels series was for you

Oakland A’s pitcher Frankie Montas kicked off the four game series at the Big A in Anaheim with a three hit 4-0 shutout over the Los Angeles Angels one of multiple shutouts during the A’s visit to the Southland (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara the Oakland A’s came into Anaheim to battle their Southland rivals the Los Angeles Angels and although many don’t look at these two teams as rivals the first three games of the series were like it was with three consecutive shutouts pitched.

#2 The first game on Thursday night that was pitched in the series Oakland starter Frankie Montas threw for seven innings, three hits, three walks, the real kicker here was he kept Angel hitters off balance all game long and ended up with ten srikeouts.

#3 In the second shutout of the series on Friday night A’s starter Chris Bassitt was lazer beamed down Broadway throwing strikes showing command and getting Angels out and working his pitches through the innings. Bassitt went seven innings, giving up six hits, a walk and seven strikeouts in a 2-0 shutout.

#4 The third shutout came on Saturday afternoon when the Angels starter Jamie Barria was absolutely a mystery against the A’s line up. Barria was able to keep the A’s top hitters off balance with Mark Canha 1-3, Starling Marte 1-3, Matt Olson 1-4, and Ramon Laurenao 1-4. Barria’s line for the afternoon, 6.2 innings, two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts for the 1-0 shutout.

#5 The A’s have Monday off and return to Oakland Tuesday after concluding their ten game road trip to face Fernando Tatis Jr and the San Diego Padres. Starters for Tuesday night’s game for the Padres Blake Snell (4-4 ERA 5.44) and the A’s have not announced at starter.

Join Barbara for the A’s podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Charlie O: Bryant’s addition to the line up just an added spark

On the Giants podcast with Morris:

#1 Charlie, O San Francisco Giants outfielder Kris Bryant has been a great addition to the Giants line up. After the Chicago Cubs had their fire sale he comes to San Francisco makes his debut on Sunday against the Houston Astros and it was a big test as Bryant participated in a game of two first place teams.

#2 Bryant came into Sunday’s game against the Astros hitting .267, 87 hits, 18 home runs, and 51 RBIs. Tell us about what it will be like for him hitting with the dimensions at Oracle Park.

#3 In the series with against the Astros over the weekend lots of offense you saw the Astros defeat the Giants on Friday night 9-6 and the Giants came right back on Saturday afternoon with a 8-6 win it was a series of two true first place clubs.

#4 The Astros Jose Altuve is a guy the Giants have to pitch carefully to on Friday he had a big night going 3-6 with three hits, three runs, five RBIs.

#5 The Giants open a four game series in Phoenix tonight against the Diamondbacks (33-72) last place in the NL West but regardless where the Diamondbacks are in the standings they always get up for the Giants this could be an interesting series as the Giants try to add more space between them and the Dodgers in the NL West standings.

Charlie O is filling in for Morris Phillips. The Giants podcasts are heard each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Where’s the Help? Gomes, Marte and Harrison answer the call for the A’s in 8-3 win over the Angels

By Morris Phillips

Veterans making their debut with a new club are more likely to go well than a rookie getting his MLB debut in the face of a powerful, above average big league offense.

That in a nutshell was the story of the A’s-Angels series finale in Anaheim that went to the A’s 8-3 on Sunday.

The A’s trio of trade deadline acquisitions–Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison and Starling Marte–combined for six hits and three stolen bases. Reid Detmers, 22, the Angels highly touted pitching prospect with just 13 professional appearances under his belt, allowed two homers and six earned runs in taking the loss in his big league debut.

“Obviously, I’ve been dreaming of that moment since I was a little kid,” Detmers said. “Obviously, it didn’t go as planned. But that’s baseball. Just got to bounce back. I’m looking forward to my next start. I’m just enjoying the moment right now.”

Detmers struggled with his fastball command, couldn’t get the proper touch on his offspeed pitches, and saw his entire afternoon blow up in the third inning when Matt Olson hit a three-run homer followed by Gomes’ two-run shot. That wiped out a 3-0 Angels lead and sent the home team, desperate to change the tenor of the division rivalry, to a 12th loss to the A’s in 16 meetings in 2021.

“The slider and the curveball kind of became moot,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He just could not land them where he wanted to and then it put them in good hitting counts, and they got him.”

The A’s early rally allowed Daulton Jeffries to ditch the jitters, expected as the A’s No. 4 prospect was making just his second major league appearance with the first coming last season in a COVID-protect environment, which translated was an empty stadium without opposing fans looking to throw you off your stride. Veteran catcher Gomes did the trick there as well, settling Jeffries.

“Yan came up to me and said, ‘Hey, your stuff is good. Just take a little more time between pitches and breathe,’” Jeffries said. “My mind was relaxed but my body was ready to go, so I just had to create a little balance.”

Jeffries retired eight of the final 10 hitters he faced, and a quartet of A’s relievers took it from there. Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, newly acquired Andrew Chafina and Sergio Romo each handled an inning, combing to allow the Angels just two hits, and no more than one baserunner at any juncture, ideal for stopping a team intent on a comeback dead in its tracks.

Meanwhile, the A’s added on with Gomes’ RBI single in the fifth, and Jed Lowrie’s single in the seventh that knocked in two runs. If Gomes, acquired from the Nationals, sounds like the second coming of “Crash” Davis from Bull Durham from his multifaceted contributions on Sunday, he’s not. But the 34-year old catcher with his fourth club in his 10th major league season is having a resurgent season, clubbing 10 home runs and batting .274 in 63 games with the Nats, and one game with the A’s. Gomes has now hit double-digit homers in seven of his 10 seasons, and will likely be a quality backup to Sean Murphy behind the plate.

Marte provided three hits–and three stolen bases–just what an offense that’s capable but has been prone to droughts needs. The A’s are below average in batting average, and prone to strikeouts without being overly capable of drawing walks. Marte helps in all those areas, currently hitting .306 with 32 walks drawn in 63 games.

Harrison contributed a hit, but wowed at second base where he turned a pair of double plays on balls hit by Shohei Ohtani. That marked the first time Ohtani’s been doubled up twice in a game this season, and caught the eye of manager Bob Melvin.

“Those are pretty good double plays, you don’t see Ohtani hit into too many double plays,” Melvin said.

The A’s return to the Coliseum on Tuesday for a meeting with the Padres, and a glut of off-days in the upcoming 10 days will determine whether Jeffries gets another turn in the rotation or James Kaprelian’s health improves enough for him to reassume his position in the rotation.

Giants take down Astros 5-3 in Bryant’s debut

The newest San Francisco Giant Kris Bryant is all smiles in the Giants dugout after hitting a third inning home run against the Houston Astros on Sun Aug 1, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN FRANCISCO–Kris Bryant was jokingly asked before the game if he felt pressure to hit a home run in his debut game for his new team since two of his former Chicago Cubs teammates had done the day before for their respective new clubs.

If he did, you wouldn’t have known as the newly acquired Giant, hit a solo home run in his second at bat to help The San Francisco Giants beat the Houston Astros 5-3 in the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park.

San Francisco took two out of three from Houston and went 5-4 on its nine-game homestand, 4-2 in the last six games. They remained three games ahead of Los Angeles and six and a half games up on San Diego in the National League West. Houston has lost two in a row and lead Oakland by four and half games in the American League West.

“I think it says we’re steady”, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said after his team won the past two series against contending teams. “We’re not going to let one day, spill into the next. But I also think the confidence is growing. And I think we’ve played well against some of the best teams in baseball.”

Bryant finished the game going 1-4 with the home run and RBI. He also made an errant throw to first base on a Martin Maldonado ground ball to third base in the fifth inning.

Bryant, who started at third base for Kapler, ignited the two-out three-run third inning for San Francisco with his 19th home run of the season. Brandon Crawford singled in Mike Yaztrzemski to tie the game at 2-2.

“I feel giddy”, said Bryant after his first game with his new team. “It felt like Christmas morning honestly. It’s really cool to be part of it and experience it first hand”

Darin Ruff who went 3-4 with a HR and three RBI, just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, ended up upstaging his new teammate. His RBI single in the third inning gave the Giants the lead they wouldn’t relinquish. His two-run homer in the fifth inning gave San Francisco all the runs they would need on the sunny afternoon.

“Today in particular, I focused on not missing a fastball (thrown at me). Luckily, I was on time and ran into some good pitches, you know squaring them up pretty well. Overall for the series I don’t know maybe a little bit more aggressive. You gotta find some holes out there and get lucky sometimes. I fell into a good rhythm,” Ruff said.

Ruff feasted on Astros pitching over the weekend going 6-13 (.461) with a home run, 5 RBI and four runs scored.

Logan Webb started the series finale for San Francisco (66-39). He pitch a strong 6 plus innings giving up only two earned runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking one batter. Webb settled down after the first inning when he gave up a two-run home run to Yuli Gurriel.

“We wanted to stay with the same game plan”, said Webb. “Keep attacking those guys. They got some hits but (when) you keep them to singles, I’ll take that all day.”

Astros starter Luis Garcia went four and two-thirds innings giving up five earned runs on eight hits, striking out seven and walking two batters.

Houston (64-42) scored a run in the eighth inning off of Tyler Rogers when Kyle Tucker hit into a 1-6-3 double play.

Jake McGee came in and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his 23rd save of the season.

GAME NOTES: The Giants left six runners on base. Houston stranded seven.

To make room for Bryant on the 26-man roster, the Giants optioned infielder Jason Vosler down to Triple-A Sacramento.

Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo became the first trio in MLB history to all homer in the debuts for their new teams.

The Giants home record of 35-17 is the best in MLB and their day game record is now 26-14 (4th best in MLB).

UP NEXT: The Giants began a seven-game road trip when the travel out Arizona to begin a four-games series with the Diamondback on Monday 8/2 at 6:40pm at Chase Field.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: WWII took Six Years, A’s and City of Oakland since 2001

Artist’s rendering of an Oakland A’s Howard Terminal ballpark at Jack London Square in Oakland, the A’s say they will listen to Oakland Mayor Schaff and the City of Oakland and try and work with them on their offer for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal (image from Curbed SF)

WWII took Six years, A’s and City of Oakland since 2001

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–On Friday, Libby Schaaf Mayor of Oakland, said the City of Oakland agreed to resume talks about the proposed new Howard Terminal ballpark with the Oakland A’s if the A’s agree to its conditions as a starting point. The A’s declined to make a comment. Refreshing our collective memories, this effort to build a new park did not began just a couple of years ago.

In 2001 NHK Sports Inc had three (3) sites in Oakland proposed for the new A’s ballpark. Uptown Oakland neighborhood, the Oakland Coliseum, the Howard Terminal, plus one outside of Oakland (20 miles south) in Fremont, which quickly struck-out.

Negotiations/Talks have been going on since 2001 to the present. That is 20 years of talking between all parties in the saga to keep the A’s in Oakland. In 2001 Jerry Brown was the Mayor of Oakland, later Ron Dellums followed by Jean Quan and since 2015 to date by Libby Schaaf. The Second World War began in 1939 and ended in 1945, about six years.

Since the latest vote on July 20 by the City of Oakland, both sides have “rested” from renegotiating the construction of the 34,000 seat Howard Terminal ballpark. Since then Mr. David Kaval, President of the Athletics has visited Las Vegas multiple times, looking for sites in the desert.

There are still a lot of issues to be resolved. Will the A’s provide hundreds of affordable homes as required by Oakland city law, plus millions of dollars out of their own pockets, which will benefit the community? There is no guarantee.

In April the Oakland Athletics non-binding financial sheet, asked the city to create two tax assessment district, one financing improvements like streets, sidewalks and cleanup of the soil to prepare for the construction on the 55-acre Howard Terminal side, plus a village of 3,000 homes, offices, hotels, performing arts center, parks and open spaces. Alameda County is needed to help cover cost of the infrastructure. The A’s believe about $860 million would be generated from property tax growth by the project.

However, The City of Oakland promised to seek state and federal funds to pay the A’s the $352 million they need for all the off-site improvements.

That offer came as a surprise to Mr.Kaval and the A’s and the team would need to review it before deciding to continue with negotiations. The City of Oakland will be able to renew and consider voting on the request by September. Will this be enough to strike a deal?

The current lease with the Oakland Coliseum expires in 2024. I consider myself a positive man, but after 20 years it presents a tremendous challenge to A’s fans and obviously the Commissioner of Baseball who already ran out of patience and gave permission to the Athletics to look elsewhere.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio flagship station 1010 KIQI LeGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Homers in Bunches: Giants slug their way to 8-6 win over the Astros

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Could the power outage in the Giants’ clubhouse at Oracle Park continue for a fifth straight day?

No, and neither could Zach Greinke’s magical touch at Oracle Park.

Greinke has never lost a game at Oracle Park, posting a microscopic ERA in the process, and barely being tested in the majority of his six wins. But these days, the Giants have a brand new approach, and Greinke found out first hand that things might be different going forward. And when was Greinke notified of the change? Probably three home runs into the four homer barrage the Giants hit him with, all in the game’s first five innings.

“Three of them might have been home runs still in any situation,” Greinke said of his start, the first time he’d allowed four home runs to the Giants, and the first time he’d allowed any club that many homers since 2019. “They weren’t cheap.”

In 53 innings pitched at Oracle Park, the 218-game winner described as a future Hall of Famer in the Astros’ media notes, had never allowed a home run. In fact, his dominance was the essence of velvet: Greinke averaged little more than six strikeouts in his previous eight starts along McCovey Cove, showing that he was content to let the Giants get themselves out without needing to display a dominant stance.

What’s new is the Giants are swinging harder. Among the few quality home run hitting teams not to feature one, standout slugger, the team’s across-the-board approach is to look for pitches to launch, swing hard, and don’t get discouraged by strikeouts or meager batting averages. Against Greinke, who’s not only unlikely to allow a big fly, but also stingy with teams trying to string together base hits, the approach works. Maybe not everytime, but during a day game in a park where the park needs ideal conditions to surrender big hits, it worked on Saturday.

“We put some really good swings on the ball. All the homers were pretty much no-doubters,” Ruf said. “Although it was a nice day to hit and the ball seemed to be traveling well, those would have been homers in any other day game.”

The Giants’ homer drought–none over the first four games of the homestand–ended with a bang. The four, consecutive games without at least one home run was a first in manager Gabe Kapler’s run of 164 games at the helm.

The Astros, considered MLB’s top-rated offensive club, attempted to keep up the pace. They homered three times, two of those from Aledmys Diaz, and during a stretch of nine half-innings in which runs were scored in eight of them, the teams went back-and-forth, wiping out any leads that one of clubs established. But that pattern broke in the sixth when Brandon Crawford singled home a run with two runners aboard to give the Giants a 7-6 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The only run on the afternoon the Giants would produce without hitting a home run was the difference, and it came after Greinke departed, allowing him to escape with his undefeated record in San Francisco in tact.

Alex Wood, described as the Giants’ stopper with his excellent record in games following a Giants’ loss, was anything but, allowing six hits–two of them home runs–in his abbreviated 68-pitch outing. But often, it’s better to be lucky than good, and Wood benefitted from the Giants’ offensive breakout, and a bullpen effort that saw four relievers following him and allow just one, meaningless base hit. Jake McGee capped that effort with a perfect ninth to earn his 22nd save.

Ironically, the Giants played without newly acquired Kris Bryant from the Cubs, who was flying to San Francisco during the game Saturday. Bryant will be in uniform on Sunday, and will assume a lofty position in a lineup where he will lead the Giants in hits (87), be tied for the lead in home runs (18), and second in doubles (19). To say the Giants lineup will be not only loaded, but versatile, would be understatement. But the objective is to do it on the field, and not on paper, over the season’s final 59 games.

In a final move before the trade deadline the Giants reacquired Tony Watson from the Angels with Sam Selman the key piece headed to Anaheim. Watson has a recent, string of exemplary outings but he also moves into a crowded situation in the Giants’ bullpen. Currently, the Giants have relievers Dominic Leone, Jack McGee, Tyler Rogers, Jarlin Garcia and Jose Alvarez with ERA’s under 3.00. Reliable arms Caleb Baragar and Reyes Moronta could also be the mix as well at some point if they recover from injury.

On Sunday, the Giants have Logan Webb starting in a matchup with Houston’s Luis Garica at 1:05pm.

Lack of Offense Hurts Oakland In 1-0 loss

Los Angeles Angels starter Jaime Barria goes into his motion to deliver a pitch to the Oakland A’s line up in the first inning at the Big A in Anaheim on Sat Jul 31, 2021 (AP News photo)

Lack of Offense Hurts Oakland In1-0 Loss

By Barbara Mason

Saturday afternoon the Oakland A’s took on the Los Angeles Angels looking for a fourth win in a row. Oakland won the first game of this series 4-0 and yesterday evening the score was 2-0 in favor of the A’s. Two shutouts in a row and their eleventh shutout of the season.

Cole Irvin (7-9 3.62 ERA) took the mound for Oakland and for the Angels it was Jaime Barria (1-0 6.23 ERA).

It was a pitchers duel much as yesterday’s game was. For the first time in this series the Angels were first up on the scoreboard. In the third inning Shohei Otani hit a double to right center field allowing Matt Thaiss to score and thus the early lead for the Angels 1-0.

Through six innings there was not much offensively for the A’s. Mark Canha was hit, once again, and also had a double. Matt Olson had a double in the sixth inning but that was it for Oakland.through six innings.

In the seventh inning the A’s began to see more offense from players who had been quiet for most of the game. Laureano, Murphy and Kemp all had hits. Oakland had the bases loaded with two outs in the inning but could not capitalize. It’s just more of the same for this team.

With the score 1-0 this game was still up for grabs. Ramon Laureano very nearly tied up the game in the eighth inning hitting a very deep ball into left field for a double. Again Oakland came up empty in the inning.

The A’s could just not get the job done in the ninth inning. Cole Irvin had a great game with some outstanding pitching and it was very disappointing to have lost this one.

Tomorrow both teams will meet up for the final game of the four game series. First pitch is schedule for 1:07 PM.

Altuve’s big night paces Astros in 9-6 win over Giants

Houston Astros Jose Altuve swings for the fences here he belts a fifth inning home run against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Fri Jul 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN FRANCISCO—It’s not everyday that the opening game of a series between the two best teams in baseball plays second fiddle. But then again, the San Francisco Giants haven’t been a buyer at MLB’s Trading Deadline in five years.

Minutes before the end of the deadline, Farhan Zaidi and his management team pulled off a trade bringing Chicago Cubs All-Star left fielder Kris Bryant to the the team by the bay for prospects outfielder Alexander Canario and right handed pitcher Caleb Kilian.

As far as the game went, Jose Altuve powered the Houston Astros with hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the sixth inning, to complete a 3-6 night with five RBI in a 9-6 victory on Friday evening at Oracle Park.

“Yeah there’s no question that was the turning point in the game,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler on Altuve’s grand slam. “A major moment. We weren’t able to recover from it.”

The game was without Astros manager, and former Bay Area icon, Dusty Baker as he served a one-game suspension, due to the three game suspension to Brooks Raley for intentionally hitting Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford with a pitch on Monday. Bench coach Joe Espada was the interim manager. 

Kevin Gausman started for the Giants and suffered a shaky first inning. The Astros sent eight man to plate and had three singles and two walks. However Gausman settled down and struck out the final two batters as he escaped being down only 2-0 after throwing 43 pitches.

“Today was a really high pitch count in the first inning. Interesting at the end of that first inning he still had plenty of life on his (fast)ball. So he was able to get his pitch count under control and get through a few additional innings for us”, Kapler said on Gausman’s outing.

Gausman ran out of gas in the fifth inning. He gave up a lead off homer to Jose Altuve, then a single to Michael Brantley before striking out Yuli Gurriel to end his night. Gausman finished the game pitching 4 and one-third innings giving up three earned runs on six hits while striking out nine Astros and two walks.

“I feel like I made the adjustment I needed to make”, said Gausman. “It allowed me to throw my fast ball up in the zone a lot more. That’s a big pitch for me. So I had to kind of remind myself I was just getting a little to quick to home plate.”

Framber Valdez had the Giants batters stymied by his curve ball on the night. He finished the game pitching five innings giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out six and issued three walks on 89 pitches.

Down 7-3 in the seventh inning, the Giants rallied for two runs with an RBI sacrifice fly from William Flores and an RBI single from Brandon Crawford. Kendall Graveman came in relief of Ryne Stanek to put out the fire by striking out Donovan Solano to end the threat.

Houston tacked on single runs in the eighth and ninth inning on a RBI double Carlos Correa and a solo home run by Aledyms Diaz.

Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth inning, giving up one run on on three hits.

Each team stranded 10 base runners in the game.

GAME NOTES: The Giants also brought back veteran left hand reliever Tony Watson in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Giants sent pitchers Sam Selman, Ivan Armsttrong and Jose Marte to the Angels.

Houston acquired pitcher Phil Maton and minor league catcher Yainer Diaz from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for outfielder Myles Straw.

UP NEXT: Game 2 of the Giants-Astros series is on Saturday 7/31 at 1:05pm at Oracle Park. Alex Wood faces off against Zach Greinke.